I can’t believe another month has passed since last writing to you. Since we last spoke, we have had our Annual AGM, and all the Committee officials have been re-elected, so I’m still your Chair, it would have been a real giveaway if the Chair’s Chatter had been written by someone else!
The AGM doesn’t just reflect on the year gone by, it also sets the momentum for the next year and beyond, but in order to stay relevant (we acknowledge that perhaps like the majority of IAM groups, we are an ageing bunch) we feel the need to have new representation on the committee.
As with your IAM journey, we never stop learning, and as such, we welcome new ideas or a different way of looking at something; if you are interested, then please let either myself or our Secretary, Trevor Ambrose, know of your interest, and we’ll take it from there. You do need to be a full member to serve on the committee, although anyone is welcome to come to a committee meeting.
I reported at the AGM that in the last LAM year we had achieved 22 test passes, of which 13 were F1rsts, and we have created 7 new Local Observers with another 2 nearly at sign-off. This is a fantastic achievement, and all thanks to the Training Team, so well done, everyone, a great achievement.
We are also looking for a new Events Coordinator. Unfortunately, our last one moved away and has left an empty space, which means the events calendar is looking very sorry for itself; this is something we are aware of and are looking at.
I will say that you don’t need to be a member of the committee or the Event Coordinator to run an event; we ask that you run it by the committee if it is to be billed as more than just a social ride.
Ad hoc rides can be organised amongst yourselves and advertised on the forum or on discord, and these are another great way of getting in practice miles, miles with new people or miles with new cakes and coffee shops.
We want to hold more events, not just for Associates but also for Full Members.
We've kickstarted this with an old end-of-year favourite; If you have looked in Tracker recently, you will (I hope) have noticed that our ride to the Middle Farm, Lewes in Sussex, which has always been traditionally run in December, has been resurrected after not being able to take place for the last few years (for obvious reasons).
I can guarantee fabulous toasties or a truly calorific cream tea, as well as a very dirty bike at the end of it (depending on whose ride you join).
In addition, there is a farm shop with a large selection of cheeses, meats, veggies, preserves etc. and a barn full of alcoholic beverages which you can try before you buy, only a thimble full, but at least then you know what you are buying, and you get the one you actually like, so make sure you come with empty panniers to stock up for Christmas.
Who doesn’t want to see Granny knocking out One Direction songs at the top of her lungs after a few glasses of honey mead?
It’s a very enjoyable trip. This event is open to all and is a great chance to meet your fellow LAMkins so please sign up and come along.
I have been talking to various fellow bikers, and there seems to be a common theme with the rider experience, and that is the impolite driving of other vehicles. It seems that cars are driving too fast up behind other vehicles and driving too close to the vehicle in front, resulting, sometimes, in the vehicle in front being hit. This is usually in built-up traffic areas, i.e. around London. Suddenly having a camera on the bike seems like a good idea. This spate of bad driving seems to have sprung up since the lockdown ended, and I am not sure why; perhaps they got used to driving with no other vehicles on the road and now cannot cope with other road users. Just keep your eyes peeled, and don’t become another statistic.
In true British style, the weather doesn’t know what it’s doing; for the last two weeks, it’s been positively biblical (I wasn’t aware this country had a monsoon season, but obviously, I was wrong) to the last couple of days when there was that yellow UFO in the sky. This does not help when selecting what to wear on the bike. I don’t care what you wear as long as you stay warm, dry and safe, as they say, there is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing!
Ride safe x
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